I hereby present you to “The Car”. This one will be our slave throughout our drive through Costa Rica.
We started our journey just after 4 pm from Liberia. I drove the first part from Liberia to Cañas. Along the road there were lots of fruitsellers and the closer we got to Cañas the more we saw selling Vino de Coyoll and I had to pick up a few bottles of this very typical wine. Vino de Coyol is a wine distilled from a liquid that is collected from holes of the trunk of a very spiny palm. However it is supposed to have a very special effect – because if you DO get drunk with this drink, – intoxication goes away, but as soon as you go out again to work or spend time being active in the sun with a Coyol hangover you will get yourself drunk again up to two days after the day of getting drunk on it.
In Cañas we changed driver and Magnus took his turn and drove all the way from Cañas through Tilaran to Nuevo Arenal.
We almost got lost in Tilaran (Since Tilaran is like the BIGGEST city in Costa Rica and real easy to get lost in… NOT), but once we were on the right way we were good.
Most of the road to and around the Arenal Lake was covered in darkness and incredibly swingy roads. Some areas have no paintlines left to show drive lanes although in some spots you can see that once they had and other areas have nicely marked lanes with reflex lights marking the lanes in the dark as well. The best option here was to drive slow and be prepared for anything. At one point, in a swingy downhill, we found a bull walking in the middle of the road with a huge stick attached to its horns. Poor thing looked like it wasn’t too happy about that.
In Nuevo Arenal we stopped to have dinner at Rumours Bar & Grill. Magnus being a vegetarian and myself avoiding anything with Gluten made that stop difficult. But what do you expect from a Bar and Grill that sells Nokia and IPhones with 3G, but have to run over the street to get a can of soda and beer for their clients?
Actually they had nothing at all that wasn’t either pasta, pizza or baked in Soy or wheat products. However Magnus had a nice vegetarian dish and then we went across the street to the local restaurant where I had a casado dish (typical Costa Rican dish with rice, beans, salad, egg + either chicken or steak) and a Papaya smoothie. Yummy.
I drove the rest of the way from Nuevo Arenal to Fortuna de San Carlos and several times we had to drive through really dense jungle and really swingy roads full of holes. I made a few stops where the jungle was particularly dense and we had to cross rivers because the sounds were just breathtaking.
We heard 100s of frogs. We saw fireflies. We heard birds. It was a really nice trip.
Arriving in Fortuna de San Carlos we checked in at the Arenal Backpackers Lodge which is a 5 star hostel with a really nice swimming pool and quite nice standards !
After checking in and leaving our luggage in our room we parked ourselves in front of the pool (in the pool) and thats where we stayed until bedtime.